Train delays irk passengers

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Railway passengers, especially children and women, have been facing problems over the last four weeks due to hours-long delay in train departures. Several passengers complained that they had to wait for three to four hours and sometimes more for departure of trains. Passenger Zahid Hussain said that he and his family were going to Kalass Goraya, Narowal and the train, which had to leave at 5:15 am, could not depart even after 8am.
He said that buses and coaches did not go to his village so he could not use any other transport. Attique, who commutes daily between his office and hometown, said that he was a government servant and came to Lahore at 8am but after office timings, he reached home after midnight due to a lack of trains. Attique alleged that the Pakistan Railways (PR) administration was just focusing on mail trains and questioned whether passengers from branch lines were not human or they paid less than mail passengers?
Passenger Majid Chaudhry on the Lahore-Narowal section, said that the PR was running several trains by joining one another, adding that 333-UP passenger trains, scheduled at 2pm, was joined with 211-UP at 5:20 pm and it left after 7pm while 215-UP, scheduled at 7:15 pm was joined with 219-UP at 9pm and the trains left after 10pm. Majid demanded the PR administration implement the train schedule so that passengers could reach their homes on time.
On being contacted, PR General Manager (Operations) Saeed Akhtar said that hot weather had affected locomotives so the train schedule was disturbed adding that the PR was already facing a shortage of locomotives. He said that the railways was trying to repair locomotives on an emergency basis by purchasing parts from abroad and repair work was going on rapidly at several workshops. Akhtar hoped that the railway administration would soon overcome the problem and trains would operate on time within a month.
He apologised to the passengers on the inconvenience adding that the cause of all problems was a shortage of funds. The GM said that restoration of the department was a challenge and his team was speedily working on it.